During the chat, people asked about Bern and Leon’s backstory. We actually wrote this out before in the fan group, so we promised to post it and here it is.
It’s not a nice story, so read at your own risk.
Gisella was a terrible mother. After Bern was born, she would drop him off with Penelope and then vanish for months. Then she would come back and want to be the mother of the year and get sentimental and weepy about her baby. It would last for a month or two, until she found a new guy, and then she would vanish again.
Things got worse after Leon was born. She would come back, take the kids, and then drop them off, dirty, malnourished, and sometimes bruised. When Leon was five, one of Gisella’s boyfriends beat him so severely, Leon passed out. Bern called 911. When the cops showed up, Gisella attacked them. The kids were taken away and placed with Penelope, and Gisella caught some jail time. It was an ugly thing. She told Bern that he was dead to her, and she wished she never gave birth to a snitch.
While she was in jail, James and Penelope decided to get the kids away from her. Gisella is very stubborn, spiteful, and excellent at pretending to be whoever she needs to be, so they knew she would fight them for custody tooth and claw. Penelope, being Penelope, wanted to crush her, but James convinced her that there was a better way.
When Gisella got out, James told her that she deserves a vacation. He handed her $25K and the keys to a convertible and convinced her that she needed to sign adoption papers so CPS wouldn’t take the kids away from them while she was gone. Gisella isn’t dumb. She knew James was buying the kids, but she had been locked up for awhile and itching for good time. She signed the papers, reasoning she could always find a way around it later, took the money, and left.
Fast-forward several years, and Gisella shows up on the back of her boyfriend’s Harley and announces that she came to pick up “her boys.” Only Leon, who skipped school because he was sick, and Penelope were home. Leon had a panic attack. He just froze like a baby rabbit. Penelope told her that they wouldn’t be going with her. Her boyfriend, who was on the large side, lumbered off his bike and at that point Penelope beat the hell out of him and her sister. The whole thing was recorded in the surveillance video.
Charges were filed. It got ugly again, because Penelope was undergoing therapy for PTSD after being a prisoner of war and the prosecutor used it to pressure for jail time. In the end Penelope got probation on the condition she surrendered her PI license, did a lot of community service, and attended an anger management course.
Gisella came back home one more time while Penelope and James were out. This time Bern was home. He came out, put his hand around her throat, and lifted her off the ground. He didn’t say anything. She looked into his eyes and whatever she saw in there scared her so badly, that she took off permanently. Gisella spent her whole life mixing with the rough crowd. She’d seen torture, she witnessed murders, but there is nobody she fears more than her oldest son.
Thats HA for you with 2 lines we got heartbroken and fascinated at the same time. “Gisella spent her whole life mixing with the rough crowd. She’d seen torture, she witnessed murders, but there is nobody she fears more than her oldest son.”
Ps I like dark bern
Once again you deliver…..
I love your storytelling….
My heart! Thank you for reposting!
Poor kiddos. I’m so glad they had such a great family to take them in.
It shows that Bern is willing to do whatever it takes to protect. I think it adds a depth that makes him even more admirable. Thanks for sharing.
Aminah Cherry says
Thank you. Explains Bern a bit more. Though do wonder if he is a ‘dual’ like his cousins now since he still would have been a teen while James was alive – pretty strong teen (but possible without magic) to pick up an adult by the throat. His mom would know who his father was (even if she never told others in the family), so could have some fear in part based on his father’s magic?
Moderator R says
“Arabella was really strong, but Bern had wrestled through high school and went to a judo club twice a week. Now nineteen and still growing, he stood an inch over six feet tall and weighed about two hundred pounds, most of it powerful, supple muscle. Holding a hundred-pound Arabella wasn’t a problem.”
Andrews, Ilona. Burn For Me, Hidden Legacy 1. Avon HarperCollins, 2014. Kindle edition, Chapter 1, 6% progress
Discounting the strength adrenaline gives us, Bern is pretty tall, strong and athletic. And the Afram family line does have examples of smaller women (Grandma Frida, Arabella 🙂 ) . We didn’t really get any hints of Bern having a dual power in the series. Duals are also generally Primes, which Bern is not.
Gisella came back home one more time while Penelope and James were out. This time Bern was home. He came out, put his hand around her throat, and lifted her off the ground.
According to this post, James was alive during this interaction, he was out with Penelope.
Moderator R says
Oh yeah, I slipped over that, sorry. It registered as Bern alone but that was it ????.
All this time, I’ve been thinking Been deliberately failed his testing, so he would be rated Significant. Just like Cornelius did.
I can’t think of a good reason for it. As I recall, any examples we were given involved magic that would serve you in a combat situation. Cornelius is a bit (“waggles hands”) in that regard, but pattern recognition just wouldn’t be very useful in combat, aside from rare instances.
I don’t recall ever hearing that Leon ever went through the trials by the end of the series. Would his talent be Significant or Prime? I’m thinking Significant.
Moderator R says
Cornelius faked his power rating because he wanted to escape his family’s pressure, Adam Pierce’s forced company and House Harrison and the trauma of his childhood in general. Certifying as a Prime would have made him too valuable to the House to be allowed his own choices.
Bern does not have these pressures. He voluntarily signs up to be tested the second time alongside the Baylor sisters at the trials establishing the House. It was not necessary for him to do so. Why would he volunteer just to then fake the result? He tested as an upper level Significant.
I just don’t understand how he “sorted a complex pattern out in record time” but didn’t become Prime.
Prime pattern mages must be incredibly valuable to the military, so it’s good he isn’t one, or you know they would be pressuring him to join
Courtney M says
I don’t read that as he literally set a record time, but just as a common hyperbole for “very fast.” I.e., saying “wow you got here in record time!” doesn’t mean you literally set a record getting wherever, but rather you got wherever very fast. Might be an idiom that’s regional?
I presumed that they gave Bern a Significant-level puzzle, which he did really quickly. That’s how they arrived at the upper level Significant rating, with “upper level” tacked on in recognition of his speed.
If he had failed to the Significant-level puzzle, he would next have gotten a lower-level puzzle (Notable I think is next down?). This is in line with the Keeper’s instructions to Catalina, in the Epilogue of _Wildfire_: “If you are unable to compel him to do so, we have a mage of lesser ability ready for you.”
Bern didn’t get a Prime-level puzzle because the family believed that he was Significant level. This is in contrast to the three sisters, who were believed to be Prime level and so went with Prime-level testing.
Just my interpretation!
Hey Mod R,
Did we ever get any details about what happened to Cornelius´s parents, given that Diana is head of the House I´m pretty sure they are dead but I can´t remember if what happened to them was directly referenced.
Leon chose not to get tested so he could be a dark horse. Nevada hoped he’d change his mind, but the family knows that the military would want him when they discover his power
Courtney M says
I too would love to know if Leon is a prime / how the various rankings of the Magus Sagittarius sort themselves out. In my head, the ones who have threat based skill are average or notable talent, with someone like Nevada (threat-based) having average to notable rank while Catalina (needs a threat and a blade) is average. Penelope (not threat based, sharpshooter who doesn’t miss) would be in the significant range, and Leon (can shoot around corners) is a Prime? I could be totally wrong though. Maybe the aiming is a passive field effect and a Prime Magus Sagittarius would have an active talent we haven’t seen yet because no one in the books is one.
Been meaning to ask this….he took the test but didn’t try for prime….but he was the fastest ever in the rank he tested, so could he be prime? Was confused on this. Nevada had a prime test so did the other sisters, but they had lesser tests set up too, in case they failed. Don’t remember exactly the words but when Nevada was setting up they told her that they had a lesser truthslayer if she failed…didn’t they? So did Bern even try for prime?
Yvonne A. says
Pat Sciarini says
Wow! Thank you for sharing HA!!! It so explains the gaps regarding Berns motivation for his black belt and Penelopes loss of her license! I knew there had to be more to it! ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ your character backstories and motivations! Genius!!!
Thank you for posting and this answers some of my questions. Family can really run the gamut. I am happy that both boys grew up with their aunt/uncle and cousins, especially Leon. And if Bern scares his mother, wait until she hears about the woman he married!
Whoa! Really good point!
Ooh, now I want that scene…
Melissa Chapman says
Poor boys. Glad Penelope kicked their butts. ❤️❤️
How old was Bern for the last encounter?
Dixie M McIlwraith says
Good story. I still don’t trust the b—h but it explains why Leon is so deadly with a gun. I hope between Bug and Bern they always know where Gisella is and ultimately Rogan takes her out.
That’s an interesting point. I wonder if Bern knows that Catalina has a local PI keeping tabs on Giselle in Mexico or if Catalina kept quiet about it. Maybe Bern hired someone else and they have dueling PIs. 😉 More than likely, though, Bern has hacked her phone and put tracking software on it.
He probable knows about catalina even if she keep quiet he also probable haked her phone email computer social media and Bank account so he has all and any acidence he might need if he ever need
With their kind of family, it would make sense that Bern knows where his mother is all the time. Because she is a liability, but also, she is family, so they still provide protection because they can.
I hope nobody family related takes her out, but that somebody does. Of course HA being HA they may find a way to redeem her.
I hope not. I can get behind Hugh and other HA villains because they’re over the top. Gisella is too real life. I’m perfectly happy with her staying as an off-page footnote.
I don’t think they would, as long as she stays away & the end of RF seems to indicate she will (don’t want to get spoilery, but if she wanted to be in their lives, I think she would have made an appearance at the end).
First, killing folks just because you don’t like them doesn’t seem to be the Baylor way — looking at yourself in the mirror and all that — and Catalina mentions in RF (hoping this isn’t a spoiler) that she has a contingency plan set up to protect Gisele in the event of House warfare. If the Baylor wanted her dead, Catalina wouldn’t bother.
Wow. That really does fill in some of the gaps. Thank you! It’s not pretty but it could have been so much worse.
Thanks for sharing. There are some awful parents out there in RL. Appreciate that they get addressed. I find it satisfying that she fears Bern. Love Leon and Bern.
I like Bern even more now. It would have been very satisfying for him to squeeze her neck until she croaked, but probably a lot of hassle for him. Let’s hope she stays gone.
She is scaried of Bern but if someone very powerfull offers her protection and money I can see she coming back maybe we might finaly see her in page in Arabella’s books
Bern for the win. ????
Oh my! Poor babies! I’m glad they had their cousins-sisters and James and Penelope and Frida to live with.
Thank you for this glimpses in their past.
Reading about Leon reaction was worse for me than berns. Also poor frieda.
Reading this short story makes me respect Bern even more. I loved reading about in both Hidden legacies trilogies but this story just shows how protective he is of those he loves and that is amazing. I cannot wait for his wedding to his girlfriend.
Moderator R says
No spoilers outside the spoiler thread, but incidentally, have you read Ruby Fever, the most recent in the Hidden Legacy series https://ilona-andrews.com/featured-release/ ? You may find some things of interest ????
Thank you for the clarification. It’s been something I wondered about. That’s a very solid backstory that makes complete sense.
I grew up in a family with 5 children. My parents were wonderful. We lived on a small farm in western Pennsylvania and had in many ways had an idyllic life even though we were actually quite poor. My parents decided to become foster parents to court awarded teenagers as their ministry. We had a lot of kids come through (1 at a time) to determine if they could be placed permanently with children of different ages or if they should be as the only child.
I’m very sad to say this is not only not the worst story I heard (often in the middle of the night while we were supposed to be asleep) but this is probably one of the best. There are way too many children in this world that just assume everyone is going to hurt them-physically, mentally or emotionally. I am glad that Leon and Bern had Penelope and James. Those people in their lives make all the difference
(I’m not delusional I know these are fictional characters but you write them so well!)
I appreciate that about HA. Many times folks write about extremely abusive parents but not the in between ones. And those are the most real, as terrible as that is. ????
Makes you wonder what she saw in his eyes. In my head they are blank. No anger, no hatred, no love, just … nothing. That would scare most people.
Wow……. Did not know that back story. Thank you.
Leigh Ann says
I knew some of that, in general, but the Bern thing…
Wow. Poor kids!
Thanks for sharing. She gets mentioned every so often so I always thought she’d make a spontaneous appearance and bring destruct with her.
Siobhan Kelly-Martens says
I want to reiterate that I love HA’s writing, that their characters are entirely human and believable (Vicki… Baby… SLEW me). They have yet to make a stupid character (where something is blaringly obvious to the reader but the character is walking around all “huh? wut?”). Someone else noted they have no unredeemable characters, which is also human (to their own surprise, given the progression of Hugh). And Ruby Fever was incredible. When I think about how everything had to line up to fit into one word-count-limited book while including more action sequences that I think happened in any one KD book*, my mind boggles.
So when I say Giselle is the exception, it’s one offscreen character in a cast of… ok, at least dozens.
Giselle has been bugging me since Diamond Fire, where House Baylor had only existed for three months. House Baylor has now existed for just over three years. I *know* addicts, and maybe Giselle never got addicted to drugs (it’s not mentioned in the backstory), but her lifestyle is that of an active addict’s. There is no way, no matter how scared she is of Bern, that she didn’t keep an eye out for opportunity. Even if it just meant checking FB once in a while.
Monitoring the warehouse (because I don’t believe it would have taken her three years), she should have seen Bern leave at some point and shown up with her hand out. Because all Houses are automatically rich. Because she knows how to play her sister if Leon & Bern aren’t involved. A threat to go public about selling her children would do.
Giselle’s conspicuous absence is the one character piece I don’t believe in. It’s also not something I dwell on, since at the time of the books she’s a very minor/entirely offscreen character. But every time I do think of her, that jumps out.
It stands out to me as someone in recovery (18 years last Friday). Which is one way I know addicts. Working at a halfway house post-rehab is another way.
*I’d have to look at each cover and do a mental count, and I’m not up for that right now. But holy ????, it seemed like it.
Congratulations on 18 years! ???? That is a major accomplishment to be proud of! ????????????
Maybe having her own son be her most terrifying experience caused her to run so far away that it wasn’t practical to go back there? Also, the boys are adults now so she couldn’t use taking them away as leverage. ????♀️
I have known several people who had a significant family member (parent, sibling, child) simply cut themselves out and washed their hands of their previous life. Two friends had fathers who simply walked away from their life and started over, pretending that the children from their first marriages simply didn’t exist. And my own sister-in-law has a brother who she hasn’t seen in more than 10 years. She doesn’t even know if he is alive or not.
So I’ve always assumed Gisella was one of those. She sounds capable of it. What I wonder is whether she was born damaged or had some unknown trigger at some point that turned her to the dark side.
Ah, no spoilers in this chat. (Reminding myself before I go on.)
It seems like one member of House Tremaine and another member of House Baylor might have some input in what is keeping her distracted and out of the country. Also, given what made Mad Rogan who he is, I wonder just how simple it is to travel between Mexico and Texas in the Hidden Legacy world.
I just remembered doesnt house tremaine have someone else besides Victoria alive I know she is the only living prime in her house but I remember reading about there being someone else? Am I crazy? Am I right? If Im right who it is and are we ever gonna meet said person?
Moderator R says
Victoria is at least the only Prime left in her House. And she is also described as alone against the world several times. I don’t remember anyone other living relative mentioned.
Thanks I dont know why I was sure she had one distante relative alive I dont know why.
Giselle reminds me of my neighbor’s sister: addict, illegal activities, jail time. She has a daughter whom her sister adopted. She’d try to waltz into their lives and act like a mom. The family nipped that in the bus. When I read about Giselle, I thought of this person immediately, and when I learned that she was in Mexico, I assumed it was because she was wanted in the US, which is a probability. Also, by now she knows there are 3 primes in House Baylor, and one is a truthsayer. For a criminal, she probably wants to avoid the Baylors for many reasons
Thank you for sharing that. I’m sorry that they had to experience that, but I’m glad that they had good family to take them in. I’m also really happy that she fears Bern and stayed away.
May she get what she deserves and it have nothing to do with any of the characters that we “know”and love.
Sara B. says
Wow … there were hints, but this explains a lot.
Right? Now with this information, the rest of it clicks into place with the hints. It’s so satisfying!
Thank you. You guys are such excellent authors and I really enjoyed this back story, plus all your books and cannot wait for more from you.
Wow…. thanks IA
House Andrews is blessing us with many many riches – and we of the BDH are lucky to have them.
This is a very trying time for me on a personal level so any little snippet brings me joy.
((Hugs)) ???? May you find joy and peace whenever and wherever you can.
Thank you, that is very kind of you.
Darlene Brown says
Amazing. Thank you, House Andrews, for caring enough about your characters to develop these deep back stories (like the one of Arland’s father) that never will be included in the books but explain and enhance so much!
How do I find this story of Arland’s dad?
IIRC, it’s in Maeve’s story when she and Arland’s mother were meeting alone in the garden.
I thought it was something not included in the book, I thought maybe I missed a backstory on Arland’s Dad since I’m not on social media and it could be on FB, etc
Ok! I had wondered if Penelope lost her PI license over the boys. Way to go Bern! At least the boys know that Penelope, James and Frida wanted them and they are loved. It goes a long way. Thanks for sharing it!
I think that was mentioned in one of the later Nevada books about why she lost the license. Not this level of detail, but I seem to remember something about Penelope beating up her sister’s boyfriend when they came to take the kids.
It is/was in the FAQ. I remember seeing a less detailed version of Penny going off on her sister and boyfriend and losing her license over it.
I wonder how Gisella and Penelope could end up so radically different having the same parents. It puzzles me in reality too, just one of the mysteries of life.
Judy Schultheis says
I know a pair of identical twins who can take the same information and, using the same thought processes, reach totally opposite conclusions. People are people.
My sister thinks I’m a complete flake since I’m not living my life the way she thinks I should. She’s entitled to her opinion – she is not entitled to run my life for me.
Patricia Schlorke says
I hear you, Judy! My older siblings and family friends thought the same thing about me. Oh, the egg on everyone’s faces when I told my siblings what I did during the time they didn’t see me. Cue evil laugh.
Judy Schultheis says
I spent nearly 35 years quietly famous as the secretary who never let a mistake get past her.
I supported four people and a car at Los Angeles prices for several years. I didn’t get any thanks for it at the time; but my firstborn doesn’t whine about her difficulties supporting her children. My second doesn’t have kids, which is absolutely fine with me.
Thank you, that’s really enlightening!
And I love the picture that went with it… there’s almost a hint of Peter Pan about it…
Oh Leon and Bern. I’m so glad that Penelope and James took them in. It also makes a ton more sense how Penelope lost her PI license, and in that case, wouldn’t regret her choices that ended that way. But made other parts hard too.
Jennifer Connors says
Yup! Do not push Bern into a corner … you will not like the result. Or Leon for that matter.
Thrir story is too real – reminds me of that one story from Humans of NY… 🙁
Now I’m craving Leon’s HEA
Aww, yeah, I KNEW Bern was a closet badass!
Linda Trainor says
Rember Nevada saying how Bern would think it though ie, the cost of speeding ticket. As in he will do it if it’s the best thing
Yeah, got the t-shirt too
Crystal Smith says
It amazes me when people who are amazing can create uch an ugly child (yes I know they aren’t real but I’ve seen it in life) poor Freda. But good on Bern.
🙁 I’m glad the rest of the family was there for them.
still haven’t read ruby fever since real life responsibilities have intervened…. but looking forward to it. Debating whether I should read it through at once or take the leisurely route and audiobook it..
J D says
Based on the level of detail in this book, I would say you’re probably going to want to set aside time to do read/listen at least twice. I’m definitely going to! Maybe do the original book-devouring in print and then have a leisurely stroll through the audio version to savor the details?
I know this is not the spoiler discussion thread so I will not ruin anything for anyone who has not finished Ruby Fever. That being said there are quite a few individuals in the Baylor orbit that could take care of Gisella, without anyone knowing. I know the real world and because fictional worlds mimic the real world are not good places. I know karma does not act fast enough but if HA decided in future to write a short story of something where we know that Giselle is no longer able to potentially threaten or be a vulnerability to the Baylors but especially Leon that would be awesome. I will take on the bad karma for requesting it.
Oh no. Is She in Ruby Fever? I am waiting for vacation next week to read it and Soul Taken so I no nothing.
Moderator R says
No spoilers outside the spoiler discussion thread ????
No not a spoiler sorry. I meant in general lots of deadly people that the Baylors know that can help make anyone disappear
In a story I recently read, there was a very poignant line about how people could be the best parents possible and could provide everything to their child, but the child could still grow up to be a bad person. In the end, what defines a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ person is their choices, and sometimes a person will make selfish choices to hurt other people no matter the efforts of their family and friends.
Gisela is a prime example of this. Grandpa Leon and Grandma Frida raised a wonderful human like Penelope, but no matter their efforts, Gisela turned out the way she is. Whether she has some kind of personality disorder or not, the fact is that she selfishly hurt the entire family, especially Bern and Leon, and yet when push comes to shove, people like Catalina, no matter how much she detests her aunt, will look out for her when Victoria comes sniffing around.
The way House Andrews portrays people is wonderful, because it’s so realistic. Family can be wonderful, but it can also be excruciatingly painful, and in the end all you can do is make your choice on how you want to act.
And I think that’s beautiful, because no matter what kind of shit life throws at you, you always have the choice in how you want to respond to it. You can always choose to be a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ person.
Yay for Bern!
Ms. Kim says
That’s very sad.
Thank you. Not just for the backstory but creating an empowered future for the boys. ❤
Oh wow! Yeah I had always wondered how Leon and Bern had ended up with their aunt and cousins. It had been hinted Gisella was a POS but I always wondered if she was a victim of addiction (maybe) but also just an overall not great person. Thank you for providing this! Also explains how Penelope lost her PI license and was forced into early retirement and why Nevada also had to step up. Not sure how this all fits into the timeline of James getting sick and dying because I know this was the primary factor in Nevada becoming a PI to support the family, but now I know why Penelope wasn’t in the PI game anymore.
Barbara Erwin says
Excellent back story. I’d always wondered how Penelope lost her PI license.
Thank-You, Everything you write is brilliant! In Burn For Me there is a passage about the conception of Prime offspring. Bern explains the circumstances of his and Leon’s conceptions. I have always wondered about the identity of the boys’ birth father or fathers.
At least Penelope and James and the family helped to raise two damaged boys into fine human beings. That’s the best revenge.
Awesome! I loved how Leon calls himself Catalina’s ‘cousin/brother’ in Ruby Fever. So cute and sweet!
Linda Trainor says
I’d be interested in a Leon POV snippet. He’s not all jokester. Growing up thinking he was a dud. Then the guilt over the murder of his stalker fan.
Of course, I do enjoy his sense of humor. I “channelled” Leon while reading the scene in Sweep of the Blade where Maude is confronting some obnoxious “guests” and Arland’s stepfather literally drops in to help. “Yeah, I’m the baddest vampire… Where’d he come fr..? Urk!”
Carol Mullins says
Good for Bern. Enjoyed this snippet very much.
So that’s the reason Bern is so into Judo…..he wants to be able to beat the hell out of whoever comes to take his brother and him from their home. Makes sense.
Bern protecting Leon and sending Gisella on her way – scary beyond words. 1% of his personality.
Bern loving his family and Runa and her brother and sister. 99% of his personality.
Got my copy of Ruby Fever from Blue Willow Bookstore this afternoon!! And the Ilona and Gordon signed bookplate!! Snacks are ready, reading is commencing in three, two, one!!
Bill G says
Tough, indeed. Thank you.
Patricia Schlorke says
Wow! Bern protecting his brother when they were younger…????????????
Now, Leon could take down his mom, and she could possibly not know who did it. Better to stay away from Bern, Runa, and Leon (plus the rest of the family).
Kylie in Australia says
bummer just check and 10am saturday CT time is 1am sunday Sydney Australia time. No way i can make the chat and hear any spoilers
please consider a link or blog with spoilers so that all the BDH can enjoy. Even if it only stays on the blog for a day, pretty please
Yes please! I’m in Brisbane so it’s 1.00 am here too and there is no way I can join in. I love the spoilers because it provides so many possibilities to anticipate. Please consider a temporary link for those of us cannot attend.
Awww Leon and Bern T___T
Wow. I just. That THAT is how she lost her PI license p*sses me off so very much. I mean, you hurt the babies- that’s a killin offense already. The how and why of her license is just. Wow.
Suzann Schmid says
I hope she stays afraid-very afraid. Thank goodness they have family that loves them and sticks like glue. Gisella doesn’t deserve any more thought. She’s the reason the boys will always have emotional scars. They heal, but they always are there. Whatever her reasoning, she is a sorry POS.
Whew, and that was quite a back story. Thank you for sharing, and, well, I guess there’s nothing else to say.
Ooh, I hope we see more of that side of Bern. I just knew there was something hidden in there, despite him generally being a homebody for most of the time that we saw him.
I never actually expected others were interested in a backstory. We got so much info scattered in the previous books, I didn’t think there was more to say. A lot of this stuff was even familiar. But there was also a lot of interesting details I didn’t know.
Vampires ??! On kindle /Amazon
And that is why I think some people leave bad reviews. They don’t bother to read the blurb or actual reviews, they just see #1 in Paranormal Vampire Romance and then get their panties in a twist because there aren’t any vampires. ???? ((Shakes head at Amazon))
Patricia Schlorke says
That’s a head scratcher since there are no vampires in this one. 😀
Now if Arland and House Krahr were in the book, I can see that. Ruby Fever?! Nope.
So glad Bern and Leon have such a great family to back them up.
I always liked how Leon didn’t hold any resentment toward Bern as a teenager. Leon was shorter, non magical, had a slim build and ran track or cross country. Bern was tall, magical, muscular and a wrestling star in high school. Those are things teenagers tend to focus on, but there was such a beautiful bond between them.
The backstory explains so much.
ANN A says
Oh my. Here I was on a high after RF and then you go and break my heart and make it burst.
I wanna hug Bern and Leon so bad. Gisella better pray we don’t cross paths. I will crush her like a gnat, then scrape her off the pavement like the roadkill she is and burn her to ashes.
Okay. I’m good now. ????✌️
PS..thank you so much for this week of great books,snippets and backstories.
Teri Chapman says
Thank you for this, this is heartbreaking.
1. Did Gisella have any magic?
2. Where was grandma?
Moderator R says
They definitely didn’t start living together with Grandma Frida until they sold everything to pay for James’ experimental treatment and moved to the the Warehouse. Knowing Grandma Frida, she probably did whatever was in her power, but decisions and choices we make as adults are very rarely under the control of our parents.
Wow. So sad.
I’m so happy Bern and Leon are with Penelope and the rest of the family,
Hugs and love are the best
I’m so sorry for Leon, Bern, and Penelope.
mamy of us, me included,have reprehensible family members. some of us are able to heal, and use the scars to not become horrible ourselves. But it is so hard.
Wow. Thank you for the back story.
a prequel / backstory
….while not hugs and kisses makes the characters so real that we (the readers) want to step into it
you draw us in so completely that how could we not ask for more
yes I do know it’s a made up story but DANG
if the pov’s and removed snippets and backstories, etc. were printed in to one big volume of the HL story and sold separately
I would be first in line to buy it while fending off the rest of yous guys
maybe just a volume of ‘out takes’/ extras to add to the 6 so far
Also, Leon and Bern are registered with Scroll, so, it might be possible to get an idea of who their fathers might be via that route?
Although Bern could analyze much better than me, what the benefits vs costs of finding out might be.
Moderator R says
Leon is not registered with Scroll, he did not go through the trial and is not figuring as a magic member of the House
This is truly sad. I believe as adults many people worst nightmares are results from something that they lived through as a child.
I’m happy that they found security, love and happiness with family that loved unconditionally.
Thank you for the back story. Unfortunate, that we all know stories like this are all too frequently not just fiction stories but a headline from the news about abused children.
Love Love Love Ruby Fever. Hope that Arabella will have her stories. Or that a possible short stories of Hidden Legacy people will come out some time.
Enjoy your weekend.
Wowzers! Thanks for sharing this background!
Chris Neko says
Hi question will friday 26.8.22 are new chapter to read ore Not?
Moderator R says
We’ll have to see ????.
As I explain to you almost every week when you demand it and post updates on what time it is- Sweep of the Heart is a free content given willingly by House Andrews, and if they decide to upload it or not on Friday, it is up to them. It will be available when and if it shows up and your questioning will not make it appear sooner.
Kate in NJ says
Mod R, I have wanted to say this to you in the past, and today’s the day: many, many, many compliments on the REMARKABLE patience that you and HA show when dealing with all members of the BDH (most definitely including me!) ???? Hope you all know it’s just because we love you! ????????????
Gisella raised the hair on the back of my neck. Mostly because her characterization is true to life. Good for Penelope. Boo, hiss to the court that found against her. But Bern shows another side, not a bad one. If you messed with the Baylor’s Leon would simply shoot you dead. Arabella would right away stamp you to jelly. Bern would track you down if it took the rest of your life. And it would be the rest of your life.
Just picked up my Ruby Fever preorder…saving it for the weekend!!
I just need to say it… I love Leon ❤️
Whew! Thanks for this. Very eye-opening. I love it when people who had a rough start come into their power and apply the experience for the good of others.
Deborah Roill says
Good for Bern. Got rid of his rotten mother for good for free. It’s terrible how they were raised. Good with Penelope and James. Bad with Gisella. Thanks for releasing this Ifound it insightful.
Dona Deam says
Thank you. That helps to explain many things.
Kat in NJ says
I actually got tears in my eyes, first sad and angry tears when I thought about the rough start that Bern and Leon had, then happy tears when I thought about where they ended up. THIS is the mastery of HA and why you will always be my favorite authors! ????????
“When Gisella got out, James told her that she deserves a vacation. He handed her $25K and the keys to a convertible and convinced her that she needed to sign adoption papers so CPS wouldn’t take the kids away from them while she was gone.”
…and there’s a glimpse of Victoria Tremaine’s son…
(It’s not always a bad thing.)
Maria R. says
Wow hadn’t considered that.
O!M!G! And wow, wow, wow!!
Perhaps that was his magic??
Moderator R says
No, James did not have magic of his own 🙂 . But he was a very decent and very smart man. In many ways, his is the strongest legacy.
maybrit herve says
Maybe the dads are on their way to make trouble because she told them they have sons and the are money in house Baylor.
Thank you for sharing! It was dark, but yet so satisfying to know Gisella won’t get close to abuse “her” boys again.
Bill from NJ says
Wow that is a tough backstory. The story also sadly shows how screwed up DAs are, Penelope was protecting the boy and was threatened by a biker much larger than herself.
On a more positive note Ruby Fever got a really great review in the NY Times today!
I know this book was a hard one for the Andrews to create, it was like a really difficult labor but in the end a beautiful baby is the result:)
Maria R. says
Thank you for sharing this back story of Bern & Leon. ???? I am now curious about their names. Gisella is a tad uncommon for North American name, so how did she, as “never going to be mother of the century” bestow those names on her progeny? Those are two solid baby boy names. One might think they’d be named, idk Boot Sole & Sparkle Face ????
Moderator R says
Well, Leon for one is her father’s name 🙂
Grandma Frida has German origins and grandpa Leon Afram is Black Canadian, so the names are not USA specific.
Kat in NJ says
Mod R, I see references to “the spoiler thread”, but where is this? I think I missed something: I didn’t know there is a spoiler thread. Thanks in advance for pointing me in the right direction! ????
Moderator R says
Here you go 🙂 https://ilona-andrews.com/2022/happy-birthday-to-ruby-fever-and-discussion-thread/
Kat in NJ says
Thank you! Have a wonderful weekend…can’t wait for the Zoom tomorrow! ????
Beautiful. Thank you. For survivors everywhere. Hope is always the magic ingredient, even when it comes in small sips.
It is a tough story. But good for Bern.
Melisa M. says
Thanks for that background. It broke my heart and brought tears to my eyes. What a testament to how alive your characters feel to me that their backstory could do that to me.
Anyway I’m so glad they had a happy ending with the Baylors. I can’t imagine the family without them.
Poor Frida. If I am reading this right, Gisella is a pattern mage of some sort and her specialty is people.
Pam M. says
Gisella was a terrible mother. But she deserved everything she ever got especially what Penelope did to her. The boys had a much better mother in Pen than the one that bore them. Awesome!!! Great story.
Steve L says
DAMN! Go Bern, way to protect your family.
I love Bern so much more now. The boys are exactly where they should be.
Awesome as always!
Lynn Thomas says
Thank you, Ilona Andrews for the post. I had wondered. It’s good that Baylor family took them in.
For the people who don’t believe a family would do this , the answer is yes. As family historian I can tell you my paternal lineage has a history over 300 years back of “adopting” children into family. Makes DNA familial identification a crap shoot too.
in my immediate family, my father took in my BIL nephews as our nephews (making them Dad’s grandchildren) when authorities called because they were homeless. We have no idea who their fathers were as their maternal unit was/ is very promiscuous. It’s doubtful she even knows. Sigh. It hurts not to know DNA paternal lineage so can not predict possible genetic issues like allergies.
Thank you for the background.